Ashley Purdy was brought up by his grandparents after his parents died when he was still very young. Being an only child, he grew to be independent, and his unique style had his schoolmates looking up to him for fashion and art tips. Growing up in Missouri, the bassist knew that he wanted to move out to California one day. He dreamed of pursuing different paths, including pro-skating, music, acting and drawing, thanks to his natural gift for athletics and artistry. He ended up in Black Veil Brides, but soon everything changed when his mental health suffered, and sexual allegations were brought up against him. He had to become a lone survivor and used the music writing process to accept the new reality. Here is all you need to know about Purdy.
Joining Black Veil Brides
Purdy’s grandparents must have recognized his love for music; thus, according to Sonic Perspectives, he had a Muppets drum set. He revealed that it was thrown in the trash, probably from the noise he made while drumming. He still did not give up on music and opted for an acoustic guitar. He had to take lessons, but Purdy’s attention span was too short to allow him to learn new skills. Seeing how rock musicians would smash their guitars in the mirror, Purdy copied them and ruined his acoustic guitar. Even without an acoustic guitar or Muppet’s drum to practice on, Purdy still could sing and had joined the Sunday school church choir. He took music lessons and joined his high school rock band. As an all-rounded musician, Purdy did not limit himself to what he could do. Therefore, when he moved to Los Angeles, he formed rock bands. Unfortunately, they were unsuccessful, so he joined Children of the Beast, a Motley Crue tribute band, as a bass player because that was the only vacant role. He focused on learning how to play bass and when Black Veil Brides advertised on Craigslist about a bass player vacancy, Purdy was ready. Andy contacted Purdy, and the bassist also became a vocalist. Whatever role he was asked to fill, Purdy always gave his best.
Parting Ways with the Band
Everything seemed not to be going Purdy’s way. In November 2019, the band had announced that they were parting ways with him amicably. He, however, said that he did not leave the band; he was just not in the band anymore. He could not give details surrounding their amicable split but compared it to a divorce. Purdy said there were some things he could not reveal to the public. From his explanation, it seemed that the musician was tired of the band taking too long to release music. He said that the band helped him pay bills and put food on the table. Therefore if they made a record and didn’t tour for two years before releasing another record, he had to start looking for other things to do. Despite him saying he was ready to pursue different avenues to make money, the announcement’s timing could not have come at a worse time. When the band announced they were splitting with him, Purdy had come from a short stay at a psychiatric hospital. He explained that he sought help thinking all he needed was medication but ended up needing therapy and counseling; thus was admitted to the psychiatric hospital. The stay helped, and just after leaving came the news, but Purdy knew that although the timing was lousy, the two events were not related.
Sexual Abuse Allegations
For years, Purdy put his life and soul into Black Veil Brides as their bassist and vocalist. Unfortunately, in 2020 everything tumbled down on the musician. According to Tone Deaf, one Twitter user, Pearl Carolina, claimed that Purdy had subjected her to emotional and mental abuse after the two began talking on Instagram in February 2020. Allegedly, Carolina met with Purdy in March 2020 and later on, the musician started a pattern of mental and emotional abuse. Eventually, the two had unprotected sex, with Carolina claiming that Purdy took advantage of the fact that she was extremely intoxicated. She added that she had come forward with the allegations to save women from the sexual predator. Carolina’s tweet began a series of messages from women claiming to have had bad encounters with Purdy. Another woman said Purdy verbally insulted her, sent suggestive photographs of the women he wanted her to imitate and eventually had unprotected sex with her in a bus tour after intoxicating her with alcohol. The woman added that she was not interested in hearing Purdy defend himself, not his apology but was only looking to get the truth out. She went ahead to post a video of her getting on the bus. A former associate of the band also added fuel to the fire, saying she had witnessed Purdy inappropriately engaging with fans. She claimed the last time she witnessed such behavior with Purdy was with an underage girl whom he got drunk. He could not get to have his way with her because security did not allow underage girls to go back to the venue.
Launching His Solo Career
After facing sexual allegations and without a band to call his own, it was time to launch his solo career. He released “King for a Day” in Mid-February but then put plans of releasing more singles on hold due to the pandemic. He had also hoped to tour but then decided to wait until the pandemic was over. Still, instead of staying idle, Purdy decided to release a cover for “Smashing Pumpkins.” The sexual allegations began, and music was his escape. The musician knew there was nowhere to hide and embraced his ruined reputation to create “Nashvillain” in 2020. He also started showing fans what happens behind the scene, including the writing process. Purdy was determined to release the new music he had been postponing in 2021 because if his view changed, the content would be irrelevant. His time in the psychiatric hospital helped a lot for him to come to terms with his emotions. According to Music Junkie Press, “Nowhere” became the start of his long healing process and allowing himself always to let things flow.